by Dave Markwell

Following a particularly troublesome morning in my wife’s office, we sat at the picnic table on our patio and ate lunch in the sunshine. We talked about her challenges. During our discussion, frustration was expressed…by both of us. The “groundhog day” issues are relived and not fixed, in spite of her efforts to fix them. Owning a business is inherently stressful, but lately a sense of resignation, if not defeat, has crept into the conversation. My wife is not one to resign, nor be defeated, so these feelings were awkward and unwelcome…again, by both of us.

She is the rock of our household. While I often suffer with uncertainty and question myself and my world, she does not. She KNOWS what she wants and works very hard to get it. She is a “driver” and her vehicle moves quickly and does not swerve. While this is not always painless for me, I have learned that I am overmatched and it is best to just do what I am told.

Our chat veered in an unexpected direction. The direction was south: New Zealand, south. We talked about shuttering the doors and starting clean someplace else. We were animated as I took to the internet to search for New Zealand climate info, because if I move anyplace it WILL have better weather than here. We were both excited and inspired by our little picnic table fantasy session. It opened up new possibilities and they were FUN!! We both left with feeling better and understood that we really could do whatever we wanted. We were free and not trapped by our lives.

It is widely understood and accepted that Maya Angelou’s “caged bird” sang “because it “had a song”. I submit that possibly the bird sang, too, because it knew that it was bigger than the cage. This knowledge opens the door. Feeling the very real potential of possibility creates all great things. It liberates. It brings energy and intention and passion. No matter how challenging our circumstances, we have the power to change them. We can pull up our stakes and create something different. This awareness IS the key and it is ours. This key is in the shallow pockets of our minds and we can shove it in the lock, twist, and turn things around anytime we choose.

While I don’t foresee any warm New Zealand Christmas in my near future, the possibility of it exists. Possibility always exists. Possibility stands as the open door to our cages. Through circumstance, choice and folly, we construct our lives with responsibilities and obligations framing our cages. Once in a while, our cage will shrink us to its size. It is here that we need a shake up. A shake up does exactly that. It forces us to think differently. It rattles our cages. It allows us to grow big and dream big and reframe our world without the cage. This serves us by releasing us and reminding us that we are not really trapped. This can happen while doing the dishes, mowing the lawn or eating lunch at a picnic table in the sun. It can happen anytime, anyplace and is pretty awesome when it does.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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